The 24 Elders, Melchizedek, & the Rapture

The 24 Elders, Melchizedek, & the Rapture

The identity of the 24 elders of Revelation is the subject of much speculation. Many theories about their identity exist. Some see the 24 elders as the Church and use this view to teach a Pre-Trib Rapture. Others disagree and offer their own theories.

In this article, I will share my insights on the identity of the 24 elders and comment on if we should use the 24 elders to promote the Pre-Trib Rapture. I will also talk about how Melchizedek, a mysterious figure, may be relevant in this discussion.

Table Of Contents

An Introduction to the 24 Elders

Revelation 4 and Revelation 5 describe Heaven just before the start of the tribulation. These chapters introduce us to the 24 elders and contain the most details about them. Here are the key passages about them:

“And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.” (Revelation 4:4)

The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:10)

“(8) And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. (9) And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; (10) And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (11) And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” (Revelation 5:8-11)

Here is what we can glean from these passages about the 24 elders:

  • The 24 elders have close access to the throne of God (4:4, 4:10, 5:8).
  • The 24 elders sing and worship (4:10, 5:8-10).
  • The 24 elders work alongside 4 beasts (5:8-11, also see 4:6). The 4 beasts are heavenly beings-likely cherubim (compare Revelation 4:7-9 and Ezekiel 10)
  • The 24 elders are kings and priests (4:4, 4:10, 5:8, 5:10).
  • The 24 elders are unlikely angels because they are differentiated from angels (5:11).
  • The 24 elders wear crowns of gold on their heads and cast them at the throne when they worship (4:10).

The 24 Elders & the Pre-Trib Rapture

Pre-Trib Rapture supporters believe the 24 elders represent the Church or argue that the 24 elders’ presence in Heaven is proof that the Rapture will take place before the tribulation. They teach:

  • The 24 elders are human.
  • The 24 elders receive their gold crowns after the Bema Seat Judgment takes place.
  • The 24 elders sing about their redemption through the blood of Jesus in a song known as the “song of the redeemed”.

Many who oppose the Pre-Trib Rapture view try to dismiss these teachings by arguing that the King James Version mistranslates the song of redeemed in Revelation 5:9-10. They argue that modern versions like the New American Standard Bible (NASB) have the correct wording to the song. Here is Revelation 5:9-10:

“(9) And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; (10) And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (KJV)

“(9) And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the scroll and to break its seals; for You were slaughtered, and You purchased people for God with Your blood from every tribe, language, people, and nation. (10) You have made them into a kingdom and priests to our God, and they will reign upon the earth.” (NASB)

The NASB and similar translations are used to dispute those who teach that the 24 elders sing about themselves. They are also used to boost the theory that the 24 elders are not humans.

However, I do not believe the mistranslation argument has much merit. While the correct lyrics of the song can be disputed (more on that later), nearly all Greek manuscripts support the use of the word “us” in Revelation 5:9.[1] The 24 elders sing about their redemption in verse 9. But does this fact prove that the Pre-Trib Rapture is true? We will see…

Are the 24 Elders Human?

Many critics of the Pre-Trib Rapture believe the 24 elders are not human. I believe the 24 elders are human and not heavenly beings. Here is why:

  • The Greek word for elders (presbyteros) describes older people. This term does not describe angels.
  • The 24 elders are kings and priests. This combined role belongs to righteous people (Revelation 1:6, 20:6).
  • The fact the 24 elders sing about their own redemption strongly suggests they are human. Christ died on the cross to redeem mankind. Heavenly beings would not sing about how the blood of Christ redeemed them.
  • The redeemed come from the earth (Revelation 5:9).
  • The 24 elders being human means they arrived in Heaven before the start tribulation. Pre-Trib supporters posit that the 24 elders arrived in Heaven because the Rapture took place. They also conclude the Bema Seat Judgment already took place because the 24 elders wear crowns of gold.

The explanation offered by Pre-Trib Rapture supporters is very persuasive. However, can it hold up to scrutiny? We will see…

Has the Bema Seat Judgment Happened?

I will answer whether the Bema Seat Judgment took place prior to the events of Revelation 5.

The Crowns of the 24 Elders

Many Pre-Trib Rapture supporters believe the 24 elders got their crowns at the Bema Seat Judgment. The Bema Seat Judgment is a post-Rapture event where the righteous will receive rewards for their conduct in life.

You might imagine the 24 elders wearing crowns shaped like a royal crown. The Greek word for this type of crown is diadem. The diadem crown signifies royal authority. Christ wears many diadem crowns when He comes to destroy the Antichrist at His Second Coming (Revelation 19:12).

The 24 elders do not wear diadem crowns. They wear wreaths around their head that serve as crowns. The Greek word for this type of crown is stephanos.

The Bible describes five types of crowns that believers will receive at the Bema Seat Judgment:

  • The Crown of Glory.
  • The Crown of Life.
  • The Crown of Rejoicing.
  • The Crown of Righteousness.
  • The Incorruptible Crown.

Each of these crowns are stephanos crowns instead of diadem crowns. This fact leads many to believe the 24 elders wear the crowns they will receive at the Bema Seat Judgment. However, the stephanos crown is not always worn by the righteous or given as a reward. For instance:

This and other facts lead me to believe the stephanos crowns the 24 elders wear are not rewards from the Bema Seat Judgment. I’ll explain more next.

When Is the Bema Seat Judgment?

Christ promised He will reward every man when He comes in His glory with His angels:

“For we must all appear before the judgment [bema] seat of Christ, that each one may receive his due for the things done in the body, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)

“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Revelation 22:12)

“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” (Matthew 16:27)

The term “every man” covers everyone, including the 24 elders. Everyone must appear in front of Christ. Therefore, the key to find when the 24 elders will receive their rewards is to find when the Bema Seat Judgment will take place.

Matthew 25:31-32 pertains to an event known as the Sheep Goat Judgment. It is a different event than the Judgment Seat of Christ. However, like the Bema Seat Judgment, Christ will judge people after He comes in His glory and with His angels:

“(31) When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: (32) And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.”

The passage suggests that Christ will sit in the presence of people as He judges them. This detail means that Christ’s Second Coming occurred before these judgments, since He will be on Earth to judge people. Christ’s Second Coming will take place after the tribulation, so we have firm evidence the Sheep Goat Judgment and the Bema Seat Judgment will take place after the tribulation.

Also, Revelation 11:15-18 tells us that the time to judge the righteous will begin after the sounding of the 7th trumpet when Christ sets up His kingdom:

“(15) And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (16) And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, (17) Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. (18) And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” (Revelation 11:15-18)

The sounding of the 7th trumpet takes place at the end of the tribulation. The rise of Christ’s kingdom coincides with the end of the Antichrist’s 42-month reign that spans the second half of the tribulation (Revelation 13:5-7, Daniel 7:24-27).

Therefore, we can conclude from these passages that the Bema Seat Judgment will take place after the tribulation. The righteous, including the 24 elders, will receive their crowns at that time.

The Crown of Glory

The Bible says everyone will receive their rewards at the judgment seat of Christ. Everyone presumably covers the 24 elders. However, is it possible for the 24 elders to be an exception? Could the 24 elders receive their rewards early?

Each of the 24 elders should own a crown of glory if the Bema Seat Judgment occurred before the events of Revelation 5. The reason they should each own a crown of glory is that it’s one of the crowns that elders will receive as a reward. 1 Peter 5 tells us about the crown of glory:

“(1) The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: […] (4) And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” (1 Peter 5:1, 4)

At first glance, it appears the 24 elders have crowns of glory because they glorify God when they cast their crowns at His throne. They say:

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:11)”.

However, 1 Peter 5:1, 4 suggests that the crowns will not be given until the chief Shepherd (Christ) appears. The Greek word for “appear” is phaneroō. We find this word in passages about the Rapture/the parousia of Christ:

“When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:4)

“And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming [parousia].” (1 John 2:28)

I proved the parousia of Christ is an event that will take place after the tribulation in my article: “Is the Blessed Hope the Pre-Trib Rapture?”. For sake of brevity, here is one of the key passages that describes the parousia taking place after the tribulation:

“(27) For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming [parousia] of the Son of man be. (28) For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: (30) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:27-30)

From this information, we can conclude that the crown of glory will not be awarded until after the tribulation. We also can deduce that the 24 elders do not wear crowns of glory, nor any Bema Seat Judgment crowns when John sees them.

I believe the gold crowns signify a degree of authority for the 24 elders. The 24 elders have the status of kings, but they are under Christ who will reign over the entire world and wear many diadem crowns (Revelation 2:26-28).

The Resurrected Saints

I have shown that the 24 elders are human, but they did not arrive in Heaven as part of the Rapture. Where do the 24 elders come from? When did the 24 elders arrive?

I believe the 24 elders come from the group of saints who rose from the dead shortly after Christ’s resurrection. Matthew tells us that these saints appeared in front of many in Jerusalem after they rose from their graves:

“(52) And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, (53) And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” (Matthew 27:52-53)

Many speculate about the fate of these saints. Some insist they died again. However, it is likely they joined Christ around the time when He ascended to Heaven. Here’s why:

  • The Greek word used to describe the raising of these saints was often used to describe Christ’s resurrection.
  • The resurrection of these saints attests to Christ’s ability to overcome death. Having these saints die again would undermine that message.
  • Ephesians 4:8 indicates Christ “led captivity captive” when He ascended to Heaven. These saints could be part of the spoils of victory Christ took with Him when He ascended:

This group of saints along with Christ represents the first fruits of the resurrection.[2] The resurrection of the next group of saints will take place when Christ returns:

“(20) But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. (21) For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. (22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (23) But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-23)

We do not know how many saints took part in this event. However, 24 participants are possible since “many” were raised from the dead.

We also do not know the identities of all the saints that took part in this event. However, we can deduce that many of these saints were buried near Jerusalem since many went into the city (Matthew 27:53).

The presence of these redeemed saints in Heaven accounts for how there are humans in Heaven without the need for a Pre-Trib Rapture. The 24 elders sing about their redemption that took place when Christ died and rose from the dead.

The Significance of 24

Many theories exist about the significance of the number 24. I will address two popular theories. Then I give you my view on the number’s significance.

Some believe the number 24 relates to the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 Apostles, and the 24 elders come from each group. I do not agree with this theory:

  • The main issue I have with this theory is that the Apostles were still serving on Earth when Christ ascended to Heaven. For instance, Christ did not take Peter or Luke with Him when He ascended.
  • Also, John would be one of the 24 elders if this theory is true. However, John was busy writing the Book of Revelation as the 24 elders serve God.

Some believe the 24 elders symbolize the entire Church. I also do not agree with this theory. Revelation shows that the 24 elders are 24 individuals. Consider Revelation 7:13-15:

“And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.” (Revelation 7:13-15)

John speaks to one of the 24 elders. This elder can interact with John. John is not conversing with the entire Church.

I believe 24 is simply the number of priests that serve near the throne of God. We can get a glimpse of the tabernacle of Heaven by looking at the tabernacle where the people of Israel worshipped. This tabernacle was meant to imitate the tabernacle of Heaven according to Hebrews 8:5:

“Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.”

Recall that the 24 elders serve as priests (and kings). Given Hebrews 8:5, we should expect to see the number 24 play some role in Israel’s temple worship. Indeed, King David divided the priests of Israel into 24 groups to serve at the temple (1 Chronicles 23-24).

I propose the theory that the 24 elders are part of the Order of Melchizedek referenced in Book of Psalms and in the Book of Hebrews.[3] We will learn what this order entails next.

Who Is Melchizedek?

Melchizedek is a mysterious figure. His name means “King of Righteousness” Many theories exist about who he was/is.

Melchizedek was first mentioned in the Book of Genesis. He gives credit for Abraham’s victories to God:

“(18) And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. (19) And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: (20) And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.” (Genesis 14:18-20)

We learn from this passage that Melchizedek was:

  • The king of Salem (Jerusalem). The name translates to mean “king of peace”.
  • A priest of God.
  • Abraham had high regard for Melchizedek as he gave his tithes to him.

Psalm 110 is a Messianic Psalm. The Psalm tells us that the Messiah, Christ, will rule from Jerusalem (serve as a king) and serve as a priest like Melchizedek:

“(1) The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, Until I make thine enemies thy footstool. (2) The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. (3) Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness From the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, (4) Thou art a priest for ever After the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:1-4)

We read the most about Melchizedek in the Book of Hebrews. Some believe Melchizedek was a heavenly being based on how the writer of Hebrews described him in verse 3 of chapter 7:

“(1) For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; (2) To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; (3) Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. (4) Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.” (Hebrews 7:1-4)

Those with this view argue that Melchizidek had no parents and never died. They believe Melchizidek is a heavenly creature who still serves as a priest. Some go even further to claim that Melchizidek was Christ in pre-incarnate form.

Those who disagree claim that Hebrews 7:3 only means that Melchizedek does not have a traceable genealogy. His unknown origins were emphasized to argue that a high priest does not have to come from the tribe of Levi.

I believe Melchizedek was a man for a couple of reasons. First, the writer of Hebrews tells us that a priest of men had to be a man in verse 5:1:

“For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:”

Second, the writer of Hebrews calls Melchizedek a man:

“Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. (Hebrews 7:4)”

However, the writer of Hebrews suggests Melchizedek is alive. He is a priest continually, and he lives:

“Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.” (Hebrews 7:3)

“And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.” (Hebrews 7:8)

I believe we can harmonize these facts about Melchizidek by concluding that he was a man who died and took part in the first fruits of the resurrection with Christ.[4] He is likely a redeemed man in Heaven who continues his role as a king and priest under Christ.

Furthermore, I believe Melchizidek may be one of the 24 elders, and it is appropriate to call the 24 elders the Order of Melchizidek as each of them serve as kings and priests. To be clear, Christ is our high priest, so He outranks them all:

“And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.” (Hebrews 5:9)

“(15) And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, (16) Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. (17) For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Hebrews 7:15-17)

The 24 kings and priests showed their submission to Christ when they worship Him. They also show their gratitude to Christ when they sing the song of the redeemed.

The Song of the Redeemed

Revelation 5:9-10 records the singing of a new song to Christ, the song of the redeemed:

“(9) And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; (10) And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:9-10)

The song praises Christ. However, there’s controversy about who sings and what the singers refer to when they talk about Christ’s redemptive work:

  • Some believe only the 24 elders sing and refer to themselves.
  • Some believe the 24 elders and the 4 beasts sing and refer to themselves.
  • Many others believe the 24 elders and the 4 beasts sing and refer to the saints.
  • Some believe the 24 elders and the 4 beasts sing different parts of the song and apply their parts to themselves or to others.

The main reason for this disagreement relates to the rendering of Revelation 5:9-10. I have read many views on the Greek translations of this passage. Here’s a summary of what I have read:

  • Verse 9 favors the use of the word “us” (redeemed us).
  • Verse 10 favors the use of the words “them” and “they” instead of “us” and “we”.
  • The result is a mismatch between the pronoun of verse 9 and the pronouns of verse 10.
  • Translators have sought to match the pronouns in verse 9 and verse 10. For instance,
    • The King James Version (KJV) uses first-person pronouns: “us” and “we” in verse 10.
    • Modern versions like the New American Standard Bible (NASB) omit “us” in verse 9 and keep “them” and “they” in verse 10.
  • Most believe that the pronouns in verse 9 and verse 10 should match. Others think it is okay to leave the mismatch.

As I stated, I do not believe the rendering of Revelation 5:9 in modern versions is valid. The word “us” appears in virtually all Greek manuscripts for verse 9. This leaves us with 2 options:

  • Rely on the King James Version of Revelation 5:9-10.
  • Rely on a rendering that keeps the mismatch of pronouns in Revelation 5:9-10.

Each option can work. I will summarize who sings the lyrics in each option.

Option 1: Use the King James Version

Only the 24 elders would sing the song of the redeemed in verses 9-10. They sing about their redemption, how they are kings and priests, and how they will reign on the earth.

Option 2: Keep the Pronoun Mismatch

The lyrics to the song of the redeemed would be sung by different groups. This set up is known as an antiphonal arrangement:

  • The 24 elders sing the words of verse 9. They sing about how Christ redeemed them through His blood.
  • The 4 beasts sing the words of verse 10. They sing about how the redeemed are kings and priests and how the redeemed shall reign on the earth.

The Heavenly Scene Expands

After hearing the song of the redeemed, John hears a multitude of angels around the throne of God, the 4 beasts, and the 24 elders. These angels praise Christ:

“(11) And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; (12) Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” (Revelation 5:11-12)

John then records every creature praising God and Christ:

“And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” (Revelation 5:13)

Romans 8:19-22 tells us that all of creation mourns. Creation praises Christ and God in verse 13 as it anticipates what is about to take place on the earth. They will soon have much of their pain alleviated when Christ and God set up their kingdom on the earth.

Revelation 5 concludes with the 4 beasts and the 24 elders worshipping God again:

“And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.” (Revelation 5:14)

Conclusion

I showed that the 24 elders are human, but do not represent the whole church. The 24 elders are saints who were part of the first fruits resurrection with Christ. Many appeared in Jerusalem and then joined Christ around the time of His ascension to Heaven.

I proposed that the 24 elders are part of the Order of Melchizidek and suggested that Melchizidek may be one of the 24 elders. These 24 elders are kings and priests that serve under Christ, our high-priest.

I do not believe the 24 elders should be used to promote the Pre-Trib Rapture. I have explained how it is possible for the 24 elders to be human in Heaven without the need for a Pre-Trib Rapture.

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Notes

  1. The word “us” in verse 9 indicates that the 24 elders sing about themselves. According to Dr. David Hocking, 23 of 24 manuscripts with Revelation 5:9 show the Greek word for “us” in verse 9.
  2. As part of the first fruits of the resurrection with Christ, the redeemed saints would possess glorified bodies.
  3. This may be the first time you have heard the theory of the 24 elders representing the Order of Melchizedek. However, I am not the first to propose this theory. Connie proposed this theory many years ago on her blog. You can read her version of the theory at the following links: Melchizedek Part 1 & Melchizedek Part 2
  4. Recall that it is likely that many of the saints raised with Christ lived near Jerusalem. As king of Salem, Melchizidek was likely buried near or within Jerusalem.